Posts tagged ‘The Democracy Commitment’
Dr. Bernie Ronan, co-founder of The Democracy Commitment, died in Arizona after a his struggle with cancer. Bernie passed away surrounded by his family and the love of his extended community.
Bernie was tireless in his work for democracy, and every element of The Democracy Commitment network bears his imprint. He was an organizer, advocate, leader, and an eloquent spokesman for community college students. He was also a profound theorist of democratic culture, and wrote about the significance of democratic engagement in the lives of students.
Bernie had a long and distinguished career as a public servant, after an earlier career as a theologian. Earlier this year he retired as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs of the Maricopa Community Colleges. He oversaw the Division of Public Affairs, which includes government relations, marketing, media relations, communications, as well as the Center for Civic Participation. He had been an administrator in the Maricopa Colleges for the past 20 years, including serving as the Acting President of Mesa Community College in 2007-8.
Prior to his service in the Maricopa Colleges, Bernie was Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, and Deputy Associate Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education.
Over his career as a public administrator, he had developed numerous community partnerships and did research and analysis on public policy issues. An Arizona native, he received a doctorate in public administration from Arizona State University.
In honor of his tremendous devotion and commitment to TDC and the national civic engagement movement, TDC renamed its student scholarship award after him. The Bernie Ronan Award will stand as a living testimony to this good and loyal friend. We will miss him deeply.
We are very excited to introduce you to our three student interns for the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting. Angelo, Maryam, and Manisha introduce themselves below and represent the capacity of students in our network to engage meaningfully on our campuses, in our classrooms, and in our broader communities and democracy. In the coming weeks they will work with the meeting planning committee on the program, arranging a student symposium and specifically on creating networking, learning, and organizing opportunities for the students that attend the conference in Indianapolis from June 1-4 and for students committed to civic learning and democratic engagement in higher education to continue to connect with each other and to push us to become the best faculty, administrators, campuses, and communities we’re capable of being.
Please join us in welcoming Angelo, Maryam, and Manisha!
—Jen, Gabriel & Stephanie
My name is Angelo Kapp. I am currently a sophomore attending Delta College (Mich.) and plan to transfer to Northwood University (Mich.) pursuing a degree in advertising and marketing. I previously worked in the automotive industry for seven years. In 2014, my plant closed and I decided to go back to school. I am a member of six different clubs at school and serve as vice president for Citizens In Action, a student-led club that promotes student civic engagement around campus and local communities. Recently I was awarded from the Michigan Campus Compact, Commitment to Service Award.
My name is Maryam Sarhan and I am a junior attending Stockton University (N.J.) pursuing a degree in political science with a minor in international studies. For the past two years, I have served as the student trustee on Stockton’s Board of Trustees and advocated for my fellow peers’ needs and concerns, while also helping to establish a $30,000 fund to address food insecurity on campus. This past year, I was part of Stockton’s UptoUs team, a national bipartisan campaign that raises awareness about the national debt crisis. My team and I placed first nationally against 44 other schools and earned recognition from former President Bill Clinton.
My name is Manisha Vepa, and I am a sophomore economics and global studies double major at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) (Md). I am a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, which is a program at UMBC that supports talented undergraduates aspiring to careers in service of the public interest in government, non-profit organizations, corporations, and the community; and am working towards a career in public service and government affairs. I am part of a number of civic engagement efforts on campus both formal and informal. In the student government association, I advocate for student interests to be reflected in mandatory fee changes. I am also involved with the UMBC BreakingGround Initiative and collaborate with other students, faculty, and staff to provide grants and suggest projects that would strengthen the campus community.
It is an honor to be selected to represent students and be a voice on the 2016 CLDE Planning Committee. We believe that this opportunity will be an invaluable experience to share our experiences and to learn from others. Together, we plan to create an environment at the meeting where students can better network and share ideas for engaging their peers in their communities. We want to encourage students to commit to building national and community partnerships now and in their future endeavors. Furthermore, we hope to build a strong national network to collaborate on larger civic learning and democratic engagement initiatives. After the conference, we will take the lessons we have learned during the meeting and share them on our home campuses. We will also continue to engage with students across the nation to continue the conversations and work started at the 2016 CLDE. We are looking forward to helping empower students and make strides in creating a more civically engaged population.
To learn more about the 2016 CLDE Meeting visit the event website today.
The Keene State College (N.H.) American Democracy Project (ADP) in partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.) are planning a two-day regional Student Public Policy Summit on March 4th and 5th, 2016 focused on funding for Higher Education. This summit grows out of our work with on the ADP/TDC initiative on Economic Inequality.
As currently planned, the summit would incorporate educational opportunities through keynote speakers — including Tamara Draut — and program sessions, networking with faculty/staff and students from the Northeast, and experiential learning through participation in Congressional-style debate and engagement in “action” after the summit.
The first day of the summit will focus on providing students with opportunities to become acquainted with their peers, gain knowledge regarding the history and current issues involved in funding for public higher education as well as the functions, processes and procedures of Congress. Students will be provided with information to support role playing as an actual member of Congress in the weeks preceding the summit to model the current elected government representative political ideological perspectives.
Day two will engage students in a mock legislative session, beginning with the presentation of a bill regarding funding for higher education, followed by a time to caucus with their ideological colleagues leading into a congressional debate. Debate will resume after lunch and the day will close with voting on the proposed and perhaps amended legislation. A keynote speaker will bring the event to a close and help students process their experiences.
The following day, students will be invited to attend a session debriefing their experiences to assist in refining a model that will be shared with ADP/TDC institutions across the country in the hopes of encouraging similar regional summits throughout the 2016-2017 academic year and ending in a culminating event at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting sponsored by ADP/TDC/NASPA in Baltimore.
Save the date and contact Kim Schmidl-Gagne, Program Coordinator at Keene State College at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Stockton University (N.J.) is one of 30 ADP and TDC campuses engaged in our joint Economic Inequality Initiative. Learn more about their emerging work and check out their blog!
By Carra Leah Hood, Assistant Provost for Programs and Planning and Associate Professor of Writing, Stockton University (N.J.)
The Economic Inequality Initiative Stockton Team includes faculty, professional staff, administrators, and students and has representation from all academic Schools. Creating a collaboratively-authored blog is one of the Team’s initial steps to communicate and to educate broadly about economic inequality. The blog “Economic Inequality Initiative at Stockton University” contains resources and posts on a diversity of topics related to economic and other forms of inequality.
In addition to maintaining the blog, the Stockton Team is in the process of composing a survey that it will administer across the campus in the fall 2015 and re-administer during the three-year period of the Economic Inequality Initiative to gauge the effectiveness of the Team’s efforts.
Finally, the members of the Stockton Team have taken on particular projects, among them:
- working with teachers of first year seminars to suggest ways to incorporate economic inequality themes into their courses
- facilitating a peer food bank for students
- applying for internal funding to support the development of a web-based resource page
- considering inviting relevant speakers to the campus.
One Team member is working with Stockton faculty and administrators to increase recruitment and retention of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM majors.
In the future, the Stockton Team plans to create means for the campus and the community to share ideas and approaches to advocacy, to design educational materials, and to open up opportunities for ongoing interventions.